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Tesla opens official Tmall flagship store

Hu Yumo
The US electric carmaker is offering accessories and test-drive bookings via the new virtual store, which it hopes will expand its reach with a new generation of customers.
Hu Yumo

US electric carmaker Tesla opened its virtual store on Alibaba Group's Tmall retail website on Thursday, marking its first official sales channel on a third-party platform in the Chinese market.

Tesla's Tmall store does not sell cars, but only accessories such as interior kits, performance pedals and road rescue safety kits. Consumers can also reserve test drives of Tesla's Model S, Model X and Model 3 vehicles via Tmall.

"After joining the Tmall platform, Tesla has formed an entire life cycle including after-sales service, car service and accessories. The company can better meet the new generation of Chinese consumers and they can purchase vehicle accessories online," the company said. 

The automaker also said the opening of its official flagship store on Tmall has greatly increased Tesla's user contacts and is a breakthrough in the expansion of its localized channels.

So far, the bestselling products are physical keys for Tesla vehicles, home-use battery chargers, car floor mats and an on-board charging cable kit. 

The launch of the Tmall store also means that more consumers can book test drives via the e-commerce platform. For the Model 3, test drives are now available in 15 provinces and cities including Beijing and Shanghai.

Tesla will host an eight-day livestreaming event on Tmall starting from April 21 to better introduce its vehicles to Chinese consumers.

Tesla sold 10,160 vehicles in China in March, its highest monthly sales volume since entering the Chinese market, according to data from the China Passenger Car Association.

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